In the past half-decade, the annual Our Ocean conference has become the primary venue for nations and NGOs to announce new commitments to more sustainable ocean management, including the designation of new MPAs. Examples of MPA-related commitments from past conferences are here and here (for the latter, scroll to the bottom). The latest conference – held in Bali, Indonesia, from 29-30 October – continued this trend.

For a full list of commitments made at the 2018 Our Ocean conference, click here. Below is an excerpt of some of the MPA-related highlights:

  • The European Union announced a project worth €9 million (US $10.2 million) to protect marine ecosystems and promote exchange of knowledge on the effective management of MPAs between Atlantic and Southeast Asia regions.
  • New Caledonia announced its commitment, by the end of 2019, to ‘highly protect’ its seamounts (of which it has approximately 150) as well as its isolated islets of Walpole, Matthew and Hunter (all within the Coral Sea Natural Park).
  • Germany contributed US $94,000 to help cover travel expenses of developing countries to participate in negotiations on the forthcoming UN treaty on high seas conservation.
  • Indonesia committed to allocating US $2.3 million to improve management effectiveness of 10 national MPAs and 24 provincial MPAs.
  • Peru committed to advancing the process of designating the 1156-km2 Reserva Nacional Mar Tropical Grau, with the aim of implementation in 2019.
  • Oman committed to designating 13 new MPAs.
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) committed US $50 million to create, expand, and improve the effectiveness of 80,000 km2 of MPAs in the next four years.

The next Our Ocean conferences will be held in Norway in 2019 and Palau in 2020.